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Leaving Everton

Chapter One



“I can’t believe we’re finally done! No more school!” Ayden cheers.

Everton is a small town, so our graduation didn’t take long. There were only a hundred kids in our class. Now we all have plans to celebrate, just the six of us. Rowen is going to <College Name> . I know it’s only for four years, and she’ll be home for the summer and holidays, but I just don’t want her to leave. 

“Oh, don’t look like that, Hud! I’m not gonna be gone forever! Besides, one of us has to know what we’re doing if we want to open the bakery,” she teases me.

“I’m sure we could just wing it. Not everyone who runs a business has a business degree you know,” I grumble.

Her laughter momentarily lifts the weight that’s been crushing my soul ever since we found out she got in. We’ve talked about this a million times. She’s always planned on going to college. Swearing it would make our bakery better. That we would thrive and maybe even expand one day if she learned how to run the business side. We both love to bake. We’ve been baking together nearly all our lives. I’m not worried about us succeeding though. Everyone in town already knows we make the best baked goods around.

“You already know, we can’t just rely on our amazing baking skills! What about finances and logistics and marketing? We don’t know anything about that stuff Hud. I’ll be back soon and then we can open our business. Besides, it’s not like you won’t see or talk to me the whole time I’m gone.” She rolls her eyes at me.

“I know that, Rowe. I’m still gonna miss you though.”

Her shoulders slump as she sighs. “I know. I’m gonna miss you too. All of you.” She looks around, including Nate, Ayden, Kayden, and Quinn.

“Hey! It’ll be fine. You’re just going to college. It’s not the end of the world.” Quinn rubs her back. “No one’s losing anyone. We’re inseparable you know! Nothing will tear us apart!”

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